It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

January 26, 2012

Spreading Like Wildfire!

Sometimes there are things that go around the blog world like a virus.  Not that they are bad, it’s just amazing to me how fast they spread.  I was tagged by not one, but three great bloggers in the blog world’s latest and greatest “11 Things”.  Thanks to Lindsay @ Chasing the Kenyans, Amber @ Gym Class Dropout and Julie @ You Just Have to Tri, for nominating me for this great honor.

I think you guys already know the drill, but in case you don’t here are the “rules”.  Provide 11 random things about yourself and then answer 11 question provided by the blogger who tagged you.  So, since Lindsay tagged me first I will be responding to her 11 questions.  Sorry if you other ladies were just dying for me to answer yours J

So here goes, I’ve probably provided some of these before, but I’ll try not to duplicate.

11 Random Things You May Not Know About Me
  • My favorite (non-dog) animal is the hippopotamus.
  • I once sneezed a piece of hamburger meat out my nose.  Gross I know, but true.
  • I have recently switched to a gluten-free diet.
  • I have a not so secret crush on Adam Levine.
    Hello Hotness!
  • I was once addicted to video games and spent an entire summer until I beat Super Mario 2 or 3 (now I can’t remember which one).
  • I love stinky cheese (well really all cheese).  But I love feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, etc.
  • I do not love stinky feet.
  • I have my MBA.
  • My hair is naturally crazy curly.
  • I am part Cherokee Indian
  • I went to see Lady Gaga in concert.

Lindsay’s Questions
You have the skills to go pro in any sport (except running/triathlons). What sport would you choose?
I’m going to go with tennis.  I played in high school and a year in college and frankly was never really that good at it.  I loved the sport though – so to be good at it would be awesome.

What is your favorite vegetable?
Red peppers; I love them hot or cold and on just about anything.

They're making a movie about your life. What actor/actress would play you?
Although she doesn’t look anything like me it would be cool if it was Reese Witherspoon.  She just seems like a really sweet fun girl – just like me – ha!
See - doesn't she just look fun :)
Last book you read?
The Hunger Games

Last text message you sent?
To my husband “I love you Sweetie.  Have a safe trip”.

What is your favorite meal/recipe to cook?
I love lasagna.  I love making it and putting all the delicious layers together.  Not so great now that I'm gluten free :(

Do you prefer dusting or vacuuming? (and when are you coming to do my house?)
I’m going to go with neither.  I loathe housekeeping.  LOATHE it!

If you could go on vacation to anywhere in the us or canada, where would you go?
I’ve been before – but I would definitely go to Maui again.  The most beautiful and wonderful place on earth.  As far as somewhere I haven’t been before I really want to go to NYC and see the sites – although I’ve heard Toronto is awesome too….I have difficulty making decisions – can you tell?

What's something you love about where you live?
It has a small town feel, but with big city amenities. 

Something you don't love about where you live?
The WEATHER.  It’s insanely hot and humid and miserable in the summer, and insanely cold and (usually) snow in the winter.  We really only have about 3 or 4 months of the year when the weather is really nice.

What do you do when you have trouble falling asleep?
I use a relaxation technique I learned in theatre in college.  I just try to relax every part of my body starting with my head all the way down to my toes – but I usually don’t make it to the toes before I fall asleep.

OK, here's the part where I'm supposed to nominate some more wonderful bloggers to carry this on, but I'm going to bet by now this thing has made it's rounds. If you haven't done it and want to feel freel to say I tagged you and GO FOR IT!

January 23, 2012

My First Swim

Well, not actually my first one ever, but my first one since August.  If you’ve been reading my blog awhile, you know my story…if not it goes something like this….

I was training for my first Olympic Distance Tri and had been training ALL summer.  Just 9 days before the big day I woke up one morning and couldn’t move my shoulder – I had almost 0% range of motion and it was visibly displaced and the pain was incredibly intense.  I had been having some minor shoulder pain, but nothing too severe.  I couldn’t believe it.  I immediately got in to see a Sports Med Dr. thinking they could shoot me with some cortisone or something and have me on my way.  He immediately sent me for an MRI which showed I had done some major damage to the cartilage in my shoulder – basically what holds the ball in the socket was damaged and causing instability, inflammation, and pain!  That was that, I stopped swimming.  I didn’t get to do my triathlon.  I did 10 weeks of physical therapy.  I saw a surgeon twice – and he recommended I have surgery – but also told me I may never get 100% range of motion back.  It was a Lose/Lose situation.

I had a marathon to train for, so I just decided to put the shoulder issue on the back burner and focus on running.  And that’s what I have done for the last several months.  The pain had mostly subsided on a day to day basis, but I still an’t sleep on my side and certain movements still cause pain – and it pops pretty much any time I move it, but it's tolerable.

Now that my Disney marathon is over – I decided it was time to start thinking about that shoulder again.  I really want to do a Half Ironman this summer and I have a whole group of girlfriends who are training to do the Racine 70.3.  I can’t do it if I can’t swim (obviously).  I asked my ART guy about it and he seems to think he can help.  This man has been magic so far and helped me with so many running injuries, but I’m still skeptical.  This isn’t muscle damage – we are talking about some major damage to the shoulder - not muscle cartilage.  Anyway, he starting working on it last week and he suggested some shoulder exercises for me to do, and he told me to get in the pool and start swimming as much as possible.  He thinks I can be healed in a month if I put in the work.

So Saturday, I finally took the plunge (literally).  I swam a whole 900 yards, and only about 700 of that with my arms.  I worked on my kick for about 200 yards.  When I first started it was pretty painful, but my shoulder loosened up and I was able to swim to my surprise.  I took it slow and stretched every 50 yards.  I iced when I got home and took some ibuprofen.  I was pretty happy really.  I honestly had no idea if I could even make the swim motion in the water - so it went as good or better than I anticipated.  However, since Saturday my shoulder has ached pretty much non-stop, but is worse when I’m lying down.  I go back to the Dr. tonight, so we’ll see how things go.  I’m trying to be cautiously optimistic.  I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I don’t want to assume it’s not going to work either.  I really, really don’t want to have shoulder surgery. 

So that’s where I’m at.  I’m tri-ing to be a triathlete again.  I'm hopeful it's a possibility for me.

Oh, and in case you missed my marathon video that my SUPER hubs put together. You can check it out here.

January 20, 2012

My Walt Disney World Marathon - VIDEO

I know some of you may already have seen this posted on Jim's blog, but I wanted to share it here too.  I know a lot of people don't want to spend the time to watch someone else's video - and this one is 15 minutes which is pretty long - but it's really awesome - and not because it's about me!!  It's just awesome because my wonderful husband spent so much time editing it, putting just the right clips, pics, and music together.  I've heard from several people it might make you a little teary eyed.  

It was such a wonderful and special day and it's so great to have these memories captured here forever!  There could be some embarrassing dance moves and some morning hair on here - but it was worth it to have this day put on video.

Oh, I forgot to include the You Tube link before so here it is if you want to watch it in a little larger screen. Thanks everyone for watching and the amazing comments!!  Seriously it means alot to me that something like this might also mean something to someone else.

January 13, 2012

Walt Disney World Marathon Review – One of the Best Days of My Life!

WARNING:  Really long post… many things to share!


Marathon Expo....oh yea!!
Jim & I left the house about 5:30 am on Saturday to catch our flight to Orlando, Fl.  First stop was to pick up my girlfriend Michelle, who was also running the marathon and then it was off to the airport.  We arrived in Orlando around noon and headed straight for the expo.  In the off chance that our flight was delayed, we had already arranged for our other friend Meredith to pick up our packets since the expo closed at 5pm, but we still wanted to visit the expo if we got to Orlando in time.  The expo was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which was really cool.  Unfortunately by the time we got to the expo it was in its 3rd day and close to closing so they were already sold out of a ton of merchandise.  My only regret for the entire marathon is that we didn’t fly out on Friday.  I think it would have made the trip a little more relaxing and there would have been a better selection at the expo.  Nonetheless I was still able to pick out several items including an “I Did It” t-shirt – which seemed a bit pre-mature….but I didn’t know if they’d be available later and I really wanted it.  I was a little nervous that I would jinx myself by purchasing it in advance.

Me & Jim at the airport.  Ready to ROCK Disney!

Me & Michelle at the expo - it's huge!

Catch me if you can!

Pre-mature???  I hope not!

Pre-race meal...delicious!
 After the expo we headed to the condo – which was totally awesome!  My friend Michelle works for a company that owns the condo so let’s just say she was able to get us a really good deal.  She rocks!
Our awesome condo!
We had to wake up insanely early to get to the race so we had dinner about 5:00 pm.  Meredith offered to make all of us dinner so we didn’t have to deal with the stress/time of eating out.  It was an awesome spaghetti dinner with salad and bread!  She was so nice to do this for us!!  After dinner we pretty much headed back to the condo to try to get in bed early.

The race starts at 5:30 am, but they recommend you be at the park by 4am.  You have to be in your corral by 5am, and it’s about a 30 minute walk to the corral starts.  So we planned to leave our condo at 2:30 am to be sure we got there in time.  We were only about 10 miles away, but we didn’t know what kind of delays we might have getting into the park.  I planned to get up at 1:45 am, but I ended up getting up at 1 am instead– which is midnight Kansas City time!  I think I managed to get in a whole 3 and half hours of sleep.  Of course, no matter how sleepy - Jim and I must do our now world famous pre-race dance.

We all meet (me, Jim, Meredith and Michelle) and get in the car….a nervous excitement just filling it.  It was Michelle and Meredith’s first marathon too!  Of course, it was Jim’s 18th so it was no big deal to him.  He was excited for me though.  We were all kind of sleepy and giggly, but ready to go!

The 3 M's in the VIP Tent!

We got to the race in plenty of time, and were actually some of the first ones there, but luckily we had all opted to pay the extra money for the Disney VIP tent and it was AWESOME!!  It was totally worth the money.  If you ever do the Disney Marathon I would highly recommend it.  It is a climate controlled tent with tons of tables and chairs and places to sit where it’s nice and warm.  You have your own porta potties with absolutely no lines, your own gear check area, an area to stretch, and tons of food both before and after the event.  You even get a “VIP” gift after the race – which was a pair of Walt Disney World Marathon socks.  They also had some of the Disney characters set up inside the tent to take pics with before and after the race.

Some pre-race coffee to wake me up!

Hey, I thought we were all doing something fun....maybe I shouldn't have had that coffee
About 4:30 we started heading for the start line.  It was a little chilly for standing around/walking– about 55 degrees, but I knew it would be the perfect temperature for running.

There were people everywhere!  We were literally shoulder to shoulder for the half mile or so that it took to get to the corrals.  Disney was so organized though of course, and even had porta potties along the walking route –which we all ended up needing to stop at.  It took probably 40 minutes to actually get to the corrals….although on a normal day it would probably take 20.  There were just thousands of people.  There were 8 corrals – A-H based on your approximate finish time.  Jim and I were assigned to F, but Meredith and Michelle were assigned to B.  So we wished each other good luck and parted ways, ready to race!  Jim of course, would have been in the A corral, but he had chosen to run with slow me.

Me & Jim right before the race started

Once we found our corrals, it was not long before it was race time.  I was so incredibly nervous.  Would all my training be worth it?  Would I finish?  It was hard to breathe.


The first wave of runners went off promptly at 5:30 am.  And a new wave went off every 3 minutes.  Before long it was my time – they were calling for corral F to line up!  They began playing “Shout” and I was singing and dancing along, trying to calm my nerves.  The fireworks went off and it was time to go!!

Jim was awesome through the entire thing.  He was encouraging, and trying to calm me down, and taking tons of pictures and video.  I did all of my training runs completely on my own….so many hours by myself; it was really nice to have him by my side.

About mile 3 - still totally dark

When the race started it was still completely dark outside, which was fine as we were just running along the highway for the first couple of miles.  The first few miles ticked away very quickly and then we headed into Epcot!  That was awesome.  It was like we weren’t really running a race at all, just visiting the park.  Unfortunately, we were only in the park for about a mile, and then it was another long, long stretch of highway from about miles 4 to 10. 

Me & Jim just being silly along the route

Probably around mile 8 or 9 the sun started coming up.  It was getting warmer, but still not hot since it was only about 8 am.  At mile 10 though the fun begins again as you enter the Magic Kingdom and run straight through Cinderella’s castle.  I’m still feeling really good at this point, no issues at all to complain about.  It’s a wonderful experience. 

Heading toward the Castle!

After heading through the castle, you head back out of the park and embark on another long stretch of highway from about mile 11-16.  During this stretch however, I reach the half way point – wahoo!  I’m feeling really great and feeling pretty certain I can finish. 

You enter Disney’s Animal Kingdom and run miles 16-17 here.  They have tons of animals – birds, donkeys and even a TURTLE to look at or stop and take a picture with. 

Hey turtle - you and me are just the same - SLOW!!
Then you run by Mount Everest, the Tree of Life, and Dino Land!  Although I’m starting to get a little tired here, there are so many fun things to see it energizes me a bit. 

It's easy to run a marathon when you are being chased by a dinosaur!

Hey is that Mt. Everest??
Jim and I stop to get a pic with Jimmy Cricket.  We wait in line for a minute or so only to be told he’s got to go – WHAT??  I was a little upset by that.  I didn’t mind losing a few minutes here and there to get a few fun pics along the race, but I still had a time I wanted to beat, and it was frustrating to lose those few minutes and not get a pic.  Once you head out of Animal Kingdom you start toward the worst part of the race.  I had read about this from several other people so I was expecting it.  You are once again on a long stretch of lonely highway from mile 18-21.  By this point it’s starting to get warm, I am starting to get tired, and there’s really not too much to look at.  But, hey, I’m still having a GREAT time.

Jim has been by my side almost every step and has been so incredibly encouraging. 

Baby, I love you!
Somehow, I find it in myself to run my fastest mile of the entire race in mile 19!  Not sure why, I guess I was just “feeling” it.  Of course, by mile 20 I was really “feeling” it, but in a different way.  We come up over a bridge, one of the few hills in the race, and I set my left leg down and almost lose my footing.  My knee just kind of feels like it’s going to give out.  Jim was a little freaked out I think.  I think he thought I was about to pass out.  He was like are you ok, do you need some water, are you feeling light headed?  I told him I was fine, my leg just kind of gave out due to fatigue I guess.  I have had a myriad of injuries during my training, but I hadn’t had a single issue with my knee until that point.  I could feel the tightness/fatigue in my knee through the rest of the race, but it didn’t bother me too bad.  Around 20 miles I also started having some tightness in my left calf, which I had been dealing with for about 2 weeks.  So, I would just periodically have to stop to stretch it out for a few minutes.  But, I was still fine.  I knew I was going to make it….only a few more miles really. 

Really, six more miles???

Finally at mile 21 you start making your way back into the Disney parks.  You run along a little beach area for awhile and then around mile 22 you head into Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It’s great to have something to look at again, but by this point I am really getting tired.  22 miles is the longest training run I had done, so I was running farther than I had ever ran before.  Again, Jim continued to encourage me and tell me how proud of me he was.  It was awesome!  Finally, I reach mile 24 and starting making my way back into Epcot…to the finish.  I know now that I am going to matter what I’m going to finish.  I’m tired, so tired.  I’m hurting, but I can almost taste the finish line.  I get to mile 25 and can see the big giant Epcot ball, it’s so close.  I just have to make it to that ball.  Somewhere through mile 25 we are in Scandinavia or something and Jim keeps running up ahead of me to these groups of girls in costume and having them yell out “Go Michael”.  It’s awesome! 

At about mile 25, almost done!

One of our few character pics due to the long lines

Me & Jim just after the race.
Finally, I reach mile 26 and it’s one of the coolest experiences ever.  Right there, you know you are almost done, and to the right is this huge choir singing some wonderful song.  They are dressed in bright gold and blue robes.  It is so amazing.  I almost lose it right there, but I hold on.  I still have just a little bit more to go.  Then we come around the corner and see the grandstands.  There are so many people there cheering and screaming.  Jim and I grab hands in a “victory” pose and cross the finish line together.  I DID IT!!!  I start bawling.  I can’t believe it.  After 4 months of training, battling injuries, and endless hours of running all alone….I did it.  I am so happy.  It’s hard for words to describe the awesome feeling I had when I crossed that finish line, with my wonderful husband beside me.  It was a day I will never, ever forget.

So Happy!

Happy Cry!

My final finish time was 5:54:48.  My ultimate goal was to finish, but I had hoped to finish under 6 hours, so I was very, very happy.  I had really hoped to be around 5:45…but it was worth taking a few extra minutes to snap a few pictures along the route.  I think if I hadn’t stopped for any pictures I probably would have been much closer to 5:45.  But I’m glad to have the pictures and memories instead of the time, and let’s face it – after 5 hours does it really even matter that much?  Plus, my Garmin registered 26.66 so I ran almost an additional half mile – that’s quite a bit!


Jim and I collect our medals and head over to the post race VIP tent where we meet back up with Meredith and Michelle.  They both hugged me and congratulated me and I did the same for them. 

Everyone’s race experience was a little different, but at the end of the day we could all proudly say we were a MARATHON finisher!  And that was so awesome!  We ate, chatted about our day and just celebrated in general.

Flying high after the marathon.  Hey I'm balancing on one foot - that's pretty impressive after 26.2 miles!
When I got back to the condo I had a little marathon gift waiting for me from Jim.  He had sneakily picked up a few items for me at the expo as well as a few items from home.  It was awesome!  Later that evening we went out for a nice celebratory steak dinner and of course dessert too!

Post race goodies from Jim!
Celebration dinner!

Monday was a light day of just recovering by hanging out by the pool and getting a massage. 

Tuesday Jim and I headed to Universal Studios were we had another great day.  Sadly on Wednesday we headed home.  It was difficult to go and leave the warm sunny weather; at home it was cold and snow.  Plus I really didn’t want to leave the glow of this great experience. 

Help, someone help!

It's electric!!
I love you Woody!
Is that Jim peeing in the bushes again??

Going back in to work Thursday morning I was a little bummed.  It was cold, there was snow on the ground, and I was tired – plus my marathon was over.  I had worked so hard and now all of that was over.  Then I walked into my office and found this waiting for me.  It was so amazing!  I have the most wonderful and amazing co-workers EVER!  It was such a huge pick me up.

Overall, my whole marathon experience from beginning to end was so incredibly amazing.  I could share 100s more details with you, but this post is way too long already.  My friends and Jim were so awesome and it was great to get to experience this with them too!

I DID IT!  I am a marathoner!  Wahoo!

January 09, 2012

I Did It!!!

Yesterday was the most amazing day ever and I can proudly say that I am now a marathon finisher!! It was a wonderful time with my husband and friends and a day I will never forget. I can't wait to share all the details with you soon!

January 04, 2012

You Can Track if You Want To....

You Can Leave Your Friends Behind,
Because if Your Friends Don't Track, and if
They Don't Track, then They're No Friends of Mine

OK, Seriously, if you have any desire to track me at Disney on Sunday below is the link to sign up for "Runner Tracking".  Don't forget the race starts at 5:30 am, but I should be in the last corral so I probably won't start until after 6 am - but still - you could get some very early morning text messages - you might want to turn your volume off your phone til you get up :)

My name is Michael Weatherly and I'm Bib # 8481 (but I don't think you need the bib#).  You can track Jim too - he's 8479....but he'll be running with me.

Only 4 MORE DAYS!!!  I can't believe it's almost here.